Denver District 5 | December 2019
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer | District 5
720-337-5555 |   DenverCouncil5@denvergov.org
Chief of Staff:  Melissa Horn | Senior Aide: Logan Fry | Aide: Sara Visser
Dear Neighbors, 

As the year comes to a close, I have been reflecting on my first six months in office. Since being sworn in, I have tried hard to live up to my campaign promises to bring the voice of our community back to City Hall and I hope that you feel that I have succeeded.

Additionally, I have worked hard to engage our community better and meet you where you are. I have hosted 20 community office hours at local District 5 businesses, sent 18 newsletters and neighborhood notifications, and my staff and I have attended over 65 community events. This in addition to my legislative meetings and responsibilities downtown.

My office has also responded to hundreds of calls and emails from residents asking for assistance and sharing your ideas. We are so grateful for your engagement in the issues that face our community. Your continued partnership in reporting issues to 311 helps to focus City resources to our district’s needs so please keep at it!

This has been a great start to my term in office but the work is just beginning. With your support we can continue to improve our community together. I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year.

Gratefully,

Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer 
Denver City Council, District 5  
District 5 Disposable Bag Survey Results
Thank you for sharing your feedback on whether you would support a fee on disposable bags. Our survey indicated that 63% of District 5 is in support of Councilwoman Black's proposal to add a 10-cent fee to plastic and paper bags, in an attempt to incentivize our community to bring our own reusable bags.

A 30-minute City Council courtesy public hearing on the Fee on Disposable Bags Bill 19-1176 is Monday, December 16 at 1437 Bannock St. Room 450. Speakers may sign-up beginning at 4:30 pm and must sign-up no later than Council recess that evening.

In an effort to help support you and keep your costs low during this transition, my office is working to print reusable bags and will distribute them at community meetings in early 2020. If you are hosting an event and would like some to distribute, please contact my office.
District 5 Community Survey Closes December 31
We will closing our Community Survey on December 31st so this is your last chance to let us know what your thoughts and concerns are! Please engage in the process by filling out the survey at bit.ly/district5survey.

There are a lot of changes taking place in our community and your voice can make the difference in how Denver is shaped for future generations. I look forward to partnering with each of you as we work to empower our thriving community.
Community Office Hours
Come and meet with Amanda to discuss the issues that are on your mind!

The Councilwoman holds office hours in the community weekly at different district small businesses. She will meet with people by appointment only for the first hour and then is available for drop-in discussions for the second hour. The upcoming office hours are as follows:

  • Windsor Gardens: December 19th, 10:00-12:00 pm; 595 S. Clinton Street (Multipurpose Room)
  • Game Lounge: January 9th, 5:00 - 7:00 pm; 1490 Eudora St.
  • No private appointments for these office hours, but feel free to bring your family as this is a kid friendly location with plenty of entertainment for them while we chat.
  • Windsor Gardens: January 16th, 10:00-12:00 pm; 595 S. Clinton Street (Multipurpose Room)
  • Quince Essential Coffee: January 23rd, 10:00-12:00 pm; 1447 Quince Street
  • We were sad to hear that Quince Essential may be closing in the New Year but plan to hold one last office hours here in support of one of our favorite small businesses.

Please contact the office at denvercouncil5@denvergov.org or 720-337-5555 to set up an appointment or just stop by during the second hour. If you're unable to make any of these times, please contact our office to schedule an appointment at another time.
Elected Sheriff Ballot Initiative Survey
Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca has proposed a ballot initiative which would ask voters to make the Sheriff an elected position through a change to the Charter of the City and County of Denver.

Currently, in the City and County of Denver, the Sheriff is appointed by the Mayor. Of the 64 counties in Colorado, only Broomfield and Denver Counties appoint their sheriffs. 

Do you think the Sheriff should be an elected position? Share your thoughts on this proposal by taking my survey at bit.ly/sheriffsurvey
Recycle Your Holiday Lights
Do you have broken, burned-out or impossibly tangled sets of holiday lights stored away with last year’s holiday decorations? Don’t throw them out – recycle them for free instead!

Old, broken or burned-out holiday lights are collected for recycling at a drop-off location from November 29, 2019 - January 18, 2020. Incandescent, LED, and “icicle” light strings, along with wires and attached bulbs are accepted for recycling during this collection period.

Location:

Accepted Items:
  • Incandescent, LED, and “icicle” light strings, along with wires and attached bulbs will all be accepted for recycling. No bubble (liquid-filled) or neon lights. All packaging material must be removed from the light strands prior to recycling.

For more information contact Denver Recycles at 311 (720-913-1311)
Denver Treecycle
Treecycle is a seasonal program offered by Denver Recycles that turns discarded holiday trees into mulch. Free Treecycle mulch is made available to Denver residents at the Mulch Giveaway and Compost Sale in May.

Last year, we collected over 21,500 trees for recycling. Let's do it again! 

This year, residents can set out their Christmas trees on one of their regular scheduled trash collection days between January 6 - 17

How It Works:
  • Only natural, real trees are collected by Treecycle crews.
  • Remove all decorations, lights, and the tree stand from your tree.
  • Set trees out by 7 a.m. on your scheduled trash collection day between January 6 - 17
  • Curb customers: Place your tree in the same location as your trash cart.
  • Alley customers: place your tree behind your property.
  • Trees must be placed at least two feet away from collection carts, structures, and other obstacles. Do not place trees inside bags or collection carts.

Drop-off Sites:
Treecycle drop-off locations are available for residents not eligible for Denver Solid Waste Management collection services. Drop-off sites are open through January 31, 2020.
East Area Plan Online Surveys Close December 15
Community members throughout the East Area have already submitted more than a thousand comments on the updated draft plan recommendations and on approaches to building heights and housing options. If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure to take advantage of the online options. Surveys will close December 15.

  • Read the workshop presentation slides to get an overview of the East Area Planning progress and see how the draft plan recommendations first released in May were updated, following community feedback. 
  • Visit the online workshop to see the updated recommendations and comment directly on the documents. 
  • Take the survey on approaches to building heights and community benefits. 
  • Take the survey on approaches to housing options in neighborhoods. 
  • Next steps: Planners will review all comments and feedback and report back to the community with updates in 2020.
Upcoming Improvements to Montclair Park
Montclair Park improvements include replacing the existing asphalt tennis court with a post-tensioned concrete court, with new fencing and access walks. It will also reconstruct two existing horseshoe pits and include adjacent site furnishings, picnic area access and landscaping for this neighborhood park. Design improvements are under way and public surveys will be compiled into early 2020 to help refine the plans. We will pass along the survey to our residents when we receive it from Parks and Rec. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2021. 

This upgrades are funded through the Elevate Denver Bond Program, approved by voters in 2017 to enhance mobility, safety, and quality of life across Denver.

For more information or questions please contact DPR Project Manager: Chris Schooler at:  Christopher.Schooler@denvergov.org or call 720-913-0619
Robinson Park Playground Enlargement Plan
Located in Denver's Hilltop neighborhood, Robinson Park's playground and basketball court are currently being redesigned with input from the surrounding community. Accessibility upgrades and improvements to the adjacent picnic facilities and landscape may also be included as the project budget allows.

The final design is anticipated to be complete mid-2020, with construction beginning in early 2021. The anticipated completion date for the park improvements will be Fall of 2021.
Publisher Embargo Limits Access to Denver Public Library eBooks
Recently, Macmillan Publishers, one of the largest book distributors in the U.S., issued an embargo to libraries which limits libraries’ access to purchase eBooks for customers.

Denver Public Library has asked its customers to learn more at eBooksForAll.org and to join the 226,000 people who have added their names to the petition launched by the American Library Association at eBooksForAll.org calling for Macmillan to reverse its policy..
Property Tax Relief for Qualifying Denver Residents
The Denver Property Tax Relief Program, which provides a partial refund of property taxes paid (or the equivalent in rent) to qualifying Denver homeowners and renters, is still accepting applications.

If you missed the news, this year Denver Human Services expanded the program to now support homeowning families with children. Now, If you’re 65 or older, have a disability, or a homeowner with at least one dependent minor, you may qualify (and the average refund is more than $550!).

Applications for the 2018 tax year are accepted through April 30, 2020. Head to DenverGov.org/PropertyTaxRelief or call 720-944-4DHS (4347) for more information or if you have any questions.
Denver Preschool Program Annual Showcase
Join the Denver Preschool Program (DPP) for its 8th Annual Preschool Showcase on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Denver Zoo at 2300 Steele St., Denver, CO 80205.
 
Presented by DPP, the Preschool Showcase provides families of preschoolers a fun and convenient way to explore the preschool options available to them, as well as early childhood resources, including tuition support through DPP. This event is FREE and offers families the opportunity to talk to numerous preschool staff and directors, kid-friendly activities to enjoy and entry to the Denver Zoo.. 
2030 Statewide Preservation Plan
Do you care about Colorado's historic places?

History Colorado is working on a statewide preservation plan to guide the next ten years of preservation in Colorado.

They would like to hear from you on what's happening in historic preservation in your community. What's working? What's not? And how can History Colorado help you engage in historic preservation?

History Colorado has four goals: Engagement, Celebration, Connection, and Education. They are asking the community to help them identify objectives and outcomes to meet these goals and invite you to attend a public meeting on Monday, December 16th from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library, 2401 Welton Street, in Denver. If you are unable to attend, they also have webinars available.

To learn more visit historycolorado.org/state-preservation or call 303-866-3392
Current District 5 Rezoning Requests
10353 East Mississippi Avenue

On Monday, December 9th, Denver City Council was scheduled to hear the rezoning application for 10353 East Mississippi Avenue. However, at the request of the applicant, the Council voted the application down, 11-0, before the hearing was opened. The property owner has requested that our office sponsor mediation between themselves and the community to discuss uses for the site in 2020. Residents who are interested in this conversation should reach out to the Rangeview Neighborhood Association.

1369 Quince Street

  • Zoning change from E-SU-Dx to E-SU-D1x
  • Case Number 2019I-00111
  • Any questions or comments regarding this proposed rezoning may be directed to Theresa Lucero, Senior City Planner, at Theresa.Lucero@denvergov.org.
  • Community Planning & Development Staff Recommendation: Approval
  • City Council (public input opportunity): December 16, 1437 Bannock St. Room 450. Speakers may sign-up beginning at 4:30 pm and must sign-up no later than Council recess that evening.

For more information on proposed rezonings in Denver please click HERE.
Winter Break at the Denver Art Museum
When school is out, the whole family can have fun during Winter Break at the DAM with free general admission for kids 18 and under thanks to the museum’s Free for Kids program. 

During Winter Break, families can enjoy these activities included with general admission:
  • Experiment with watercolors, paint a portrait or create an abstract masterpiece in the Paint Studio. See live artist demonstrations on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.
  • Make art in the galleries at Create-n-Take stations.
  • Catch a showing of the family-friendly play, Art Emergency: Monet Edition, for an insightful look into some of Claude Monet’s most famous artworks (presented weekdays at 11 a.m. during Winter Break except for Dec. 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1).
  • Explore the First Light Family Space and enjoy gallery games and tours in the galleries.
Denver's Proposed New Building Code
The City and County of Denver has set an ambitious goal of having new construction achieve net-zero-energy by 2035. To help get us to this goal, Denver Community Planning and Development is developing a unique-to-Denver, Denver Green Code, based on international standards for more sustainable construction.

Buildings contribute 63% of Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2050, 40% of the buildings in Denver will have been constructed between now and then – which means that new buildings, and new building codes, are integral to reducing Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions. The team at Community Planning and Development looks forward to piloting the new Denver Green Code starting next year. Ultimately, this code will likely apply to all new commercial development.

Community Planning and Development has also been working this year toward adoption of the 2018 International Residential Code, which if adopted by Denver City Council in December, would include the following new additions for Denver:

  • Tiny Homes. In 2020, new building codes will make the construction requirements for tiny homes (400 square feet or less) more realistic. The new code will specifically address tiny homes with safety standards that are appropriate for these structures.
  • Radon safety. Under the 2018 residential code, builders of new homes will need to use passive radon mitigation techniques designed to resist the transfer of radon gases from soil into homes. New homes will also be constructed in a way that would allow a homeowner to more easily install a radon control system in the future, if desired.
  • Home daycares. A proposed update to Denver’s residential code could make it easier for daycare providers to safely offer childcare in their homes. The new code will treat home daycares as residential instead of commercial, and sets minimum safety standards (like emergency exits) that are reasonable for a home. The new code will also better align with state rules for childcare facilities, all in an effort to make home daycares practical and more affordable. 

Learn more about the city’s work to update its building and fire codes at denvergov.org/buildingcode
Upcoming Events
The Denver Hospice Candlelight Remembrance Service

December 17, 6:30-8:00 pm
Eisenhower Chapel at Lowry; 293 Roslyn St
East Colfax Neighborhood Association Holiday Party & Elections

December 17, 6:30 pm
Counterpath; 7935 East 14th Avenue
Annual Homeless Persons' Memorial Vigil

December 21, 5:30-6:15 pm
Denver City & County Building, 1437 Bannock Street
Letters to Santa & Mrs. Claus

December 22, 12:00-4:00 pm
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum; 7711 E. Academy Blvd
Downtown Denver Ice Skating Rink

Now until February 16, 2020
New Year's Eve Fireworks

December 31, 9:00 pm & Midnight
16th Street Mall
District 5 Neighborhood Organizations
Denver is a unique city in promoting greater citizen involvement through organized neighborhood associations. Currently, there are 78 statistical areas represented by more than 200 registered neighborhood organizations (RNOs), Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Homeowner Associations (HOAs).

In its defined geographic area, an RNO will normally address neighborhood quality of life issues, such as traffic, development and zoning, crime, communication, and licensing, and promote social activities to enhance residential spirit, developing a sense of community, and encourage resident participation. RNOs meet regularly and many send out newsletters to keep residents informed on neighborhood issues and events.

Get more involved in your community by joining your Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO). Below are a list of Council District 5 community community organizations. You can also find out which RNO you belong to by clicking HERE and entering your address or selecting a location on the map.